The Eleventh Hour

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Village Remembers Veterans On 100th Anniversary Of WWI Armistice

Village officials and local veterans came together at Memorial Park on a cold and brisk Sunday morning to remember the country’s brave veterans. The ceremony was held on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month, which is the traditional time that marked the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

Commander Carl Marchese of American Legion Post 349 in Mineola and Mayor Scott Strauss thanked members of the Mineola Fire Department, Mineola Auxiliary Police and Mineola Volunteer Ambulance Corps. who also attended the ceremony.

“President Woodrow Wilson, a deeply religious man, thought by using diplomacy he could keep the United States from entering World War 1,” said Strauss in his speech to the crowd. “It wasn’t to be—for in April 1917, the United States officially entered the war. During the war, President Wilson continued to push for a diplomatic resolution and believed that the war could end without a fight to the death. In January 1918, he gave a famous speech now known as Fourteen Points, the start of negotiations for peace.”

Ten months after Wilson’s speech, the armistice was signed and the war was over.

“Since the Revolutionary War, there have been approximately 57 million men and women who have joined the ranks of our military including those who stand with us today here in Memorial Park,” said Strauss. “Today we recognize them, today we honor them and today we thank them. We thank them for their commitment to duty, for the love of our country and for the personal sacrifices they have made. They are the men and women who have stepped up to defend our colors and to protect us in our interests here at home and around the world.”

Strauss urged the crowd to say “thank you” when they see a current or former member of the country’s military.

“They will know what it’s for,” said Strauss. “And they will understand the enormous weight and sincerity those two simple words carry.”

Marchese started off his speech by emphasizing that Veterans Day is for all veterans.

“From defeating communism, fascism and imperialism to deliberating slaves, veterans have accomplished remarkable things during our nation’s history,” said Marchese. “We gather at events like this to honor not just recent generations of veterans, but every man and woman who has honorably served since the American Revolution.”

The ceremony concluded with the crowd singing “God Bless America.” Afterwards, Mineola Fire Department honorary chief Steve Stolarik played TAPS.

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